March Races

Lucky Leprechaun Duathlon
Sprint Duathlon/4m run
Saturday March 7, 2015
Bay St. Louis, MS

Mississippi 50 Trail Run
50m, 50K, 20K
Saturday March 7, 2015 6:00am
Laurel, MS

Run Thru History
10K, 5K
Saturday March 7, 2015
Vicksburg, MS

Mudbug March
5K
Saturday March 7, 2015 8:00am
New Orleans, LA

ISL Spring Shuffle
5K
Saturday March 7, 2015 8:30am
Metairie, LA

Komen Race For The Cure
5K
Saturday March 7, 2015 8:00am
Baton Rouge, LA

Tulane Athletics 5K
5K
Saturday March 7, 2015 8:00am
New Orleans, LA

Zydeco Marathon & Half Marathon
26.2, 13.1
Sunday March 8, 2015 7:00am
Lafayette, LA

St. Patrick’s Day 5K
5K
Saturday March 14, 2015 9:00am
Biloxi, MS

Hammond Rotary Run
10K, 5K
Saturday March 14, 2015 8:00am
Hammond, LA

Spring Classic
10K
Saturday March 14, 2015 8:00am
Covington, LA

Rover Road Run
5K
Sunday March 15, 2015 8:00am
Baton Rouge, LA

Shamrockin Run
8K
Sunday March 15, 2015 9:00am
New Orleans, LA

St. Patrick’s Day Classic
2m
Sunday March 15, 2015 10:00am
Metairie, LA

St. Patrick’s Day 3.17
3.17m
Sunday March 15, 2015 5:00pm
Baton Rouge, LA

LSU Law Race Judicata
5K
Thursday March 19, 2015 5:30pm
Baton Rouge, LA

LAT Electric 5K
5K
Friday March 20, 2015 7:00pm
Hammond, LA

Bring It To The Bay
13.1, 5K
Saturday March 21, 2015 8:00am
Bay St. Louis, MS

Pine Hill Festival
10K, 5K
Saturday March 21, 2015
Wiggins, MS

Great St. Charles Road Race
10K, 5K
Saturday March 21, 2015 8:00am
New Orleans, LA

Pel-I-Can Run
2m
Saturday March 21, 2015 8:00am
Mandeville, LA

Henry J. Calamari Memorial Run
2m
Saturday March 21, 2015 8:00am
Slidell, LA

Komen Acadiana Race For The Cure
5K
Saturday March 21, 2015
Lafayette, LA

Providence Corporate Cup
5K
Saturday March 21, 2015
Baton Rouge, LA

Superhero 5K
5K
Sunday March 22, 2015 8:30am
New Orleans, LA

Pi Beta 5K
5K
Sunday March 22, 2015 5:00pm
Baton Rouge, LA

Cerebral Palsy Awareness 5K
5K
Saturday March 28, 2015 8:00am
Hattiesburg, MS

Viking Half Marathon
13.1, 5K
Saturday March 28, 2015 8:00am
Greenwood, MS

United Way St. Charles Bridge Run
10K, 5K
Saturday March 28, 2015 8:00am
Destrehan, LA

Bunny Run
4m Trail Run
Saturday March 28, 2015 8:00am
Slidell, LA

McGehee Dad and Daughter Run
2m
Saturday March 28, 2015
New Orleans, LA

Fat Boy 5K
5K
Saturday March 28, 2015
Baton Rouge, LA

Lions Athletics Green and Gold 5K
5K
Saturday March 28, 2015 8:00am
Hammond, LA

Seize The Day 5K
5K
Saturday March 28, 2015
Baton Rouge, LA

St. Jo’s 5K
5K
Saturday March 28, 2015 9:00am
Lafayette, LA

The Great Acadiana Running of the Ducks
5K
Saturday March 28, 2015 9:00am
Lafayette, LA

LSU Tigers Against Trafficking
5K
Sunday March 29, 2015 4:00pm
Baton Rouge, LA

N.O. Triathlon
1500m swim, 40K, bike, 10K run
Sunday March 29, 2015
New Orleans, LA

Mardi Gras Mambo 10K

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The Mardi Gras Mambo 10K & 15K were held Saturday in downtown Baton Rouge. The race is in its 17th year with the new addition of the 15K. The course took runners through downtown Baton Rouge, City Park, and the LSU Lakes.

I woke up bright and extra early Saturday morning since I had to make the hour drive to Baton Rouge. When I arrived the temperature was seasonably mild but the wind was ripping through downtown making it cold. I was glad I wore long sleeves and long pants to run.

The race started off near the Old Governor’s Mansion. The first mile of the course took us through downtown. I was not expecting to run over a bridge so I was less than thrilled. I was also frustrated because my Garmin would not pick up a signal so I had no idea what pace I was running.

My Garmin decided to join the race after mile 1. I was running a 7:50 pace which I was happy with. The course took us into a neighborhood area with lots of turns. I quickly grew fatigued during the third mile. I couldn’t figure out why my legs were so tired until I remembered I went to spin class the day before. Fail.

Miles three, four, and five were torture. I took a few walk breaks and watched my pace slow to the nine minute area.

I used the king cake that I knew would be waiting at the post race festival as my motivation to get through the final mile.

I finished in 54:23. Disappointing but I’m glad I did it.

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I got my awesome race medal and headed to the post race festival.

 

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The food selections at the post race festival were some of the best I have seen for a race. Jambalaya, muffelatas, pasta salad, king cake,  Buffalo Wild Wings, and more.

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After I had my fill of wings and beer I searched for the king cake but sadly it was already gone. Oh well, I didn’t need it anyway. I met up with some friends who also did the race.

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The wind was still kicking pretty hard and it started drizzling so I left right before the award ceremony.

You should definitely put this event on your race calender for next year. The registration is fairly inexpensive, the finisher medal is unique and beautiful, and the post race food is excellent.

Next up for me is the Zydeco Half Marathon in Lafayette, LA on March 8. Note to self: do not go to spin class the day before.

 

Chilly Chase Vancouver Half Marathon & Our Canada Vacation

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My husband and I took a trip to Canada last week to start the celebrations for his 30th birthday. Of course I signed up for a race. I was overly ambitious and decided to do the half marathon distance even though I had not done a race, any distance, in over two months.

We arrived to Canada late Friday night and had to make the two hour drive to our hotel in Whistler. The Sea to Sky highway was terrifying and I was not even driving. After we tried to figure out the speed limit, everything is in kilometers, we had to navigate to twists and turns driving up the cliffs.

We drove back to Vancouver Saturday for packet pick up, which was held at the former Olympic Village. It was a foggy day, thankfully the only fair weather day we had. After packet pick-up we explored Granville Island and tasted some local food. We went to Sandbar where I got some local salmon followed by the Granville market where we bought some local cheeses and maple syrups. Our last stop was the Granville Brewery to buy some local brews.

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We woke up bright and early at 4:30am on Sunday to make the drive back down to Vancouver for the race. The race start was also at the former Olympic Village. I was definitely intimidated at the race start because everyone in Vancouver, old and young, is in phenomenal shape.

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At 9:00am half-marathon #10 was underway! I felt great the first few miles which took us around the waterfront of the city. The air was fresh, the temperature was in the high forties, and I felt great. I was staying in the low eight minute mark and even had a sub eight minute mile.

After mile 3 the course took us into Stanley Park which had gorgeous views of English Bay.

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Around mile 4 I got a surprise in the form of a muddy trail. I was not pleased, you know how I feel about trail runs. On the positive side it was only about a half mile.

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Miles 5 through 7 took us out and back around Vancouver Bay with stunning views. At the 10K mark my body remembered I was not in shape for a half marathon nor have I trained for one. My eight minute pace diminished to a nine minute pace.

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The course took us back through Stanley Park and back through the city. I continued my nine minute pace and prayed for the finish line.

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I finished in 1:57:30. My 3rd best time so I was happy. It was a big difference from the 2 hour 5 minute Vegas half marathon I ran two months earlier.

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After a quick post marathon stretch and change we walked over to the Craft Brewery for lunch. Since I am accustomed to my post race beer (which you cannot get after non-Louisiana races) I decided to try a beer sampler. I finished off with gourmet mac n cheese, that counts as pasta right?

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We toured the Gastown and Chinatown areas of Vancouver after the race.

 

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On the drive back up to Whistler on the infamous Sea to Sky Highway we stopped to enjoy the beautiful views.

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We celebrated my 10th half marathon in Whistler that night with the Fire and Ice ski show and beers at the Dub Lin Gate Pub.

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On Monday I tried my luck at skiing for a second time. I was more nervous than the first time but I finally got the side to side technique down. We enjoyed my new favorite dessert, Beaver Tails, after a day on the slopes. We also enjoyed a vodka tasting in the -30 degree Ketel One Ice Room.

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Tuesday we headed to the Whistler Sliding Centre, home of the 2010 Olympics, to bobsled. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience and we had a great and fast time, 125km/hr to be exact. Next we went to the Coca-Cola snow tubing park. It was this Southern girl’s first time ever snow tubing. We finished the night with dinner at our new favorite Whistler restaurant, Earls, home of the best pork buns we have ever eaten.

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Wednesday was our last full day in Whistler. We had a yummy breakfast at Peaked Pies then drove south to Squamish to hike the Chief Trail. We assumed it would be an easy to intermediate climb, but nothing could have prepared us for the climbing we were about to do. It was tough and felt like we did several thousand lunges but the view from the top was worth it all. The hike took us about five hours and we climbed 3,000 feet. For our last dinner we went to Araxi. We sampled the local raw oysters and I had the Artic Char, delicious.

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With sore legs and great memories we headed back to Louisiana on Thursday. Canada was absolutely beautiful. There were plenty of outdoor activities and scenery. Southern Hospitality has nothing on Canadian hospitality, the people we so friendly. We had an amazing trip!

 

February Races

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Uptown Classic
5K
Sunday February 1, 2015
New Orleans, LA

Hammond 26X1 Marathon
26.1, 13.1
Saturday February 7, 2015
Hammond, LA

Frosted Fanny
4 mile run, duathlon
Saturday February 7, 2015
Bay St. Louis, MS

Girl Scout Thin Mint Sprint
5K
Saturday February 7, 2015
Hattiesburg, MS

Mad Dash to Mardi Gras
5K
Saturday February 7, 2015
Hattiesburg, MS

Rouge Orleans
Ultra Marathon & Relay
Friday February 13, 2015
Baton Rouge to New Orleans

Valentine’s Day 5K
5K
Saturday February 14, 2015
Ocean Springs, MS

Lundi Gras Bar A Thon
5K
Monday February 16, 2015
Lafayette, LA

Bay-Waveland Beach
10K, 5K
Saturday February 21, 2015
Bay St. Louis, MS

Mardi Gras Mambo
10K, 5K
Saturday February 21, 2015
Baton Rouge, LA

Fallen 5K
5K
Saturday February 21, 2015
Audubon Park New Orleans

The Chocolate 5K
5K
Saturday February 21, 2015
New Orleans, LA

Run On The Bayou
10K, 5K
Saturday February 21, 2015
Westwego, LA

Chick-Fil-A Race
10K, 5K
Saturday February 21, 2015
Covington, LA

Arbor Day 5K
5K
Saturday February 28, 2015
Biloxi, MS

Children’s Center Classic
10K, 5K
Saturday February 28, 2015
Hattiesburg, MS

Alpha Epsilon Delta’s Loop The Lake
4.1 miles
Saturday February 28, 2015
Baton Rouge, LA

Brother Eldon 5K
5K
Saturday February 28, 2015
Baton Rouge, LA

Courir Charite 5K
5K
Saturday February 28, 2015
Lafayette, LA

Q50 Trails
50 mile, 26.2 mile, 13.1 mile trail run
Saturday February 28, 2015
Franklinton, LA

Al Briede Gold Cup Race
3 miles
Saturday February 28, 2015
Bucktown, LA

New Year Update

While everyone is deep into their 2015 resolutions, I am still trying to get back on track from 2014. The dog bite followed by the month-long flu killed my running and waistline.

It has been an uphill battle to get my race times back to where they were. I have done a few 5Ks since the summer but my times have been one to two minutes slower than my usual race pace. My half marathon time for the Las Vegas Half was embarrassing: sixteen minutes off of my personal record from just a year ago. I do have to give myself a break because I had the flu at the time but I did not know it yet. Since the Vegas Half I have not ran a race. This is shocking for me because I have ran at least one race a month for the past twenty years! I am getting back on track though. I will be doing a 10K this weekend, a half marathon next weekend, and a 5K the week after. Whew!

On top of my slower times I have gained some unwanted friends in the form of pounds. I have never weighed this much in my life. I’m surprised my scale is intact considering how many times I have wanted to throw it against the wall. Yeah my regular clothes still fit but I can now retire my size small running shorts. My thighs look like they are eating the front of my shorts when I run. Sigh. My thighs are and have always been my problem area and where my weight goes.

I was hoping my healthy eating would substitute for my lack of running but it hasn’t. I downloaded the My Fitness Pal app to my cell phone and I have been keeping track of what I eat daily. I am doing well staying on the 1300 calorie a day plan, but sugar is still my weakness. I am slowly trying to fix that.

So I did something three weeks ago I thought I would never do in my lifetime….I joined a gym. The flupocolypse was over and I needed motivation in the form of group fitness classes with an instructor barking at me. It has been an interesting few weeks of sore muscles I did not know I had. After my first “Body Pump” class I couldn’t lift my arms to brush my hair and after my first “Body Attack” class I hobbled around like an eighty year old cowboy for several days. The class I am enjoying the most is Studio Cycling. I am doing surprisingly well.

I am seeing some results already and I feel stronger. My running times are dropping as well. I decided to use my body measurements to track my progress instead of my weight. As for my scale….we broke up.

January Races

LA Marathon logo

Q50 Resolution Run
10 mile, 5 mile
Saturday January 3, 2015
Norco, LA

Jackson Day Race
9K
Sunday January 4, 2014
New Orleans, LA

Laketown Race
10 mile, 5K
Saturday January 10, 2015
Kenner, LA

Run For The Music
5K
Saturday January 10, 2015
New Orleans, LA

Frosty Kroc Run
10K
Saturday January 10, 2015
Biloxi, MS

Mississippi Blues Marathon
26.2, 13.1
Saturday January 10, 2015
Jackson, MS

First Light Marathon
26.2, 13.1
Sunday January 11, 2015
Mobile, AL

YMCA Winter Classic
10K
Saturday January 17, 2015
Ocean Springs, MS

Chill In The Hills
10K, 5K
Saturday January 17, 2015
Vicksburg, MS

Louisiana Marathon
5K
Saturday January 17, 2015
Baton Rouge, LA

Louisiana Marathon
26.2, 13.1
Sunday January 17, 2015
Baton Rouge, LA

Louisiana Gumbo 5K
5K
Saturday January 24, 2015
New Orleans, LA

Frosty Frolic
5K
Saturday January 24, 2015
Laurel, MS

Rock N Roll Marathon
26.2, 13.1
Sunday January 25, 2015
New Orleans, LA

Cupid’s Undie Run
1 mile fun run
Saturday January 31, 2015
New Orleans, LA

King Cake Run
5K
Saturday January 31, 2015
Covington, LA

Casino Bridge Run
10K, 5K
Saturday January 31, 2015
Biloxi, MS

Sweethearts for Sweet Pea
5K
Saturday January 31, 2015
Hattiesburg, MS

2014 Running Recap: Top 5 Moments

2014 had its fair share of ups: a 10K personal record, traveling out of state to races………..and downs: a dog bite and the flu. The beginning of the year started out great. I was coming off of my half marathon personal record and having great training runs and race times. I broke my 10K personal record in April. During the summer I participated in Varsity Sport’s Hot 100 series and got to try new exciting work outs like boxing and TRX. My summer ended with a nasty dog bite on my right calf, right in the middle of half marathon training. The bite really set me back. I was still able to run the Gulf Coast Half Marathon and the Las Vegas half marathon in the Fall, but my times were not great. The flu bug got me around Thanksgiving and slowed me down yet again. Now at the end of the year I am upping my miles and preparing for an amazing 2015.

Here are my top 5 running moments from 2014:

5. The Race For The Fallen

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This race was exciting because it was the first race for the newly formed Mandeville Police Runners. We traveled to Bay St. Louis, MS to participate in this event. The race raised money for the families of fallen police officers. The half marathon and 5K had special police categories and awards. I got 2nd overall for the 5K, and 1st police officer.

4. The Crescent City Classic

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My friends and I run this race every year but 2014 was extra special. Instead of just the top 500 runners getting the coveted CCC poster, the top 500 males and 500 females would get the poster. I set my goal to win a poster. Not only did I get one (151st female) I also walked away with a personal record 48:24.

3. The NYPD 5K

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I traveled to New York in May to visit my best friend who resides there. I decided to see if there was a race happening that weekend and sure enough there was! The race was held in honor of NYPD officers who made the ultimate sacrifice. I finished 2nd police officer overall. It was amazing to start and finish the race at the World Trade Center and meet the brave men and women of the NYPD.

2. Gulf Coast Half Marathon

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I have done this race several times but this year was slightly challenging. I decided to run the race in full police uniform to raise money for the Special Olympics. It was tough and I questioned my sanity several times throughout the race but I finished in 2:11:58. It was my worst half marathon time but I did have 25 pounds of gear on. All the pain and sweat were worth it because we did raise money for the Special Olympics athletes and the community support was phenomenal.

1. Las Vegas Half Marathon

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It was cold, windy, and crowded but this race was truly the experience of a lifetime. I placed this race on my bucket list earlier this year. An opportunity arose to take this trip and I jumped on it. The husband and I made a long weekend trip out of it and got to see the sights of Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. It was truly magical to run on the Las Vegas Strip at night.

December Races

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Reindeer Run & Jingle Bell Jog
1 mile, 5K
Friday, December 5, 2014 6:00pm
Baton Rouge, LA

Baton Rouge Beach Marathon
13.1, 26.2
Saturday, December 6, 2014 7:00am
Baton Rouge, LA

Cajun Coyote Trail Run
100m, 100K, 20m
Saturday, December 6, 2014 7:00am
Ville Platte, LA

Girls on the Run
5K
Saturday, December 6, 2014 8:00am
New Orleans, LA

Run With The Wolves
5K
Saturday, December 6, 2014 8:00am
St. Paul’s School Covington, LA

Reindeer Run
5K
Saturday, December 6, 2014 8:00am
Ponchatoula, LA

Snowman Shuffle
5K
Saturday, December 6, 2014 8:00am
Picayune, MS

Jingle Bell Run
5K
Saturday, December 6, 2014 8:00am
Long Beach, MS

YMCA Corporate Cup
5K
Saturday, December 6, 2014 8:00am
City Park New Orleans, LA

Pass Under the Lights
5K
Saturday, December 6, 2014 5:00pm
Pass Christian, MS

Q50 Duathlon 3rd Edition
2 Mile Run/10 Mile Bike/2 Mile Run Off Road
Saturday, December 6, 2014, 9:00 AM
Bogue Chitto State Park, Franklinton, LA

4th Annual Freedom Run
One Mile, 5K
Sunday, December 7, 2014
Downtown/Riverview/French Quarter, New Orleans, LA

Cajun Country Half Marathon
13.1
Saturday, December 13, 2014 7:00am
Lafayette, LA

Swamp Stomp Half Marathon
13.1
Saturday, December 13, 2014 7:00am
Lake Charles, LA

Battle of the Bay
7K
Saturday, December 13, 2014 8:00am
Bay St. Louis, MS

Girls on the Run 5K
5K
Saturday, December 13, 2014 9:00am
Baton Rouge, LA

Reindeer Run & Romp
Kids 1 mile run
Saturday, December 13, 2014 8:00am
New Orleans, LA

Celebration In the Oaks
2 mile fun run
Saturday, December 13, 2014 3:30pm
New Orleans, LA

Thunderbird Moonlight Trail Race
6K, 10K, Daylight 13.1
Saturday, December 13, 2014 6:30pm
St. Francisville, LA

Bonfire Festival
5K, Kids 1/2 Mile Fun Run
Sunday, December 14, 2014
Lutcher Park, Lutcher, LA

Gingerbread Jog
5K
Saturday, December 20, 2014 8:00am
Baton Rouge, LA

Reindeer Run
5K
Saturday, December 20, 2014 8:00am
Slidell, LA

Pass to Bay
10K
Saturday, December 20, 2014 8:00am
Pass Christian, MS

Ole Man River
5K, 13.1
Saturday, December 20, 2014 7:00am
City Park New Orleans, LA

Last Chance to Run
5K, 15K
Saturday, December 27, 2014 8:00am
Woolmarket, MS

Larry Fuselier Race
5K, 25K
Sunday, December 28, 2014 8:00am
Bucktown Marina, Jefferson, LA

Rock N Roll Las Vegas Weekend

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A few months ago I made my bucket list of the races I would like to do in my lifetime. The Rock N Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon was at the top of my list. Running on the strip at night and a trip to Vegas seemed like a great combination. I was lucky enough to win a free entry through a Twitter contest so the planning began!

My husband graciously volunteered to accompany me on this trip. Normally he is “voluntold” to come to my racing adventures but he was more than willing this time since neither of us had been to Vegas.

We flew into Las Vegas on Friday morning. I was pumped when I saw the sign below greeting us at baggage pick up.

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We checked into our room at The Venetian. Our hotel was gorgeous and like no hotel I have ever seen before. We explored the hotel then headed to the Rock N Roll Las Vegas Expo at the Convention Center.

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We looked at a map and saw the convention center was only a few blocks away. We decided to walk but quickly learned a Las Vegas block is not like a regular city block. A block and a half equaled almost a mile….so we found a cab and rode the rest of the way.

We arrived at the Expo shortly after it opened and it was jam packed. The number and t-shirt pick up was fairly easy but the merchandise and vendor sections were crowded. Later I found out Meb was in the house so that could have been the reason for the cluster of  runners.

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Some of the vendors we visited were PowerBar and CEP Compression. PowerBar was giving out samples of their wafer energy bar. I tried the peanut butter chocolate and it was delicious.

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Next we visited the CEP Compression booth. I scored some CEP Compression calf sleeves.

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Next we took the Las Vegas Monorail to the middle of the Strip. We knew our feet were not going to survive a few more “Vegas” blocks and the monorail was a lifesaver. We had lunch at the Paris Casino then headed to The Bellagio for some gambling.

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My husband played the slots and the black jack tables for a few hours. I sipped my cosmopolitans and took in the sights. One thing Vegas is not short on is the cocktails. Before we knew it, it was night time.

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Las Vegas was absolutely stunning at night.

We went back to The Venetian to get ready and have some champagne. We went to dinner and the Rock N Roll runner party at Tao. Dinner was delicious and Tao was beautiful. There were candles everywhere and a giant Buddha statue in the dining room. We had a great time at the Tao nightclub too. By the time 1:00am rolled around we had been up almost 24 hours. Our pillows were calling our names.

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Our 5:00am wake up call for our Grand Canyon Tour came way too soon. We whined and complained to each other like kids waking up on the first day of school. We managed to get dressed and out the door. Once the husband got his coffee and I got my donuts we were good to go.

Our tour took us to the West Rim of the Grand Canyon which is owned and ran by the Hualapai Indians. The views were breathtaking. One interesting thing was the Canyon had no guard rails because the Hualapai wanted to keep the Canyon in its original state. There were quite a few times I had to fuss at the husband for trying to be a daredevil…see below.

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The tour also took us to the Hualapai Ranch, Joshua Tree forest, and the Hoover Dam.

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I highly recommend Canyon Tours and their tour guide Gary. We had a fun and adventurous day. www.canyontours.com

For dinner we headed to the Eiffel Restaurant inside the Paris Casino. The restaurant, you guessed it, was inside the Eiffel Tower. We were lucky enough to be seated near the window with an amazing view of the Las Vegas Strip and Bellagio Fountains. Our plan was to go to the top of the tower after dinner but it was shut down because of the winds. Little did we know a blustery cold front was arriving in Vegas on the eve of the race.

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As we headed to brunch the next morning we could feel the chill in the air. After we ate I headed back to the hotel to change into my running gear. I was really happy I packed a light running jacket to go over my shirt but I wished I would have brought long pants. I, or any of the runners, was not expecting this sudden temperature drop.

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The streets were already shut down at 1:00pm in preparation for the race so we took a cab on the back streets to the New York New York Casino. I successfully harassed the husband into riding the New York Coaster with me. You would have thought it was the other way around with all of the screaming I was doing. We had a blast. Riding a roller coaster was never part of my race prep before……I really like Las Vegas.

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We made it to the pre-race festivities at 3:00pm. Mackelmore performed a free concert for the runners. Dancing was a good warm up because the temperature dropped even more. I committed to wearing my jacket during the race because I was freezing. My husband and I were literally chasing the spots of cement still illuminated by the setting sun for warmth.

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It was now after 4:00pm with the race minutes away. The sun set, the cold creeped in, and my husband ventured off to gamble.

I was shivering waiting in my corral for the start. I did not care to warm up or stretch. I just wanted to get the race started and finished so I could find somewhere warm to go. Yeah I know what you are thinking, “Would you like some cheese with that whine?” You had to be there and don’t forget I am a southern girl used to heat and humidity.

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The race was finally underway! We headed south on the strip and passed the famous Welcome to Las Vegas sign. I couldn’t pass this opportunity up so I had stepped off the race course for a moment to have my picture taken by the Marathon Foto Team.

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My first mile pace was around 10 minutes but I did have to factor in my photo pitt stop which was totally worth it. We turned northbound after the first mile and started heading back towards the casinos.

I finally got down to an 8 minute pace for the next few miles. We were in the middle of the busy part of the strip and the cold was not bothering me that much. The large cheering crowds lined up on the strip were motivating and kept the energy of the runners up.

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Once we passed all of the large casinos our protection from the cold winds were gone and we ran through the older part of Las Vegas. There were not many people with the exception of a very intoxicated Elvis cheering in front of a pawn shop. I was freezing, tired, and my pace climbed to the 9 minute area. I did not care about finishing in a particular time…I just wanted to finish.

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At mile 9 I started my usual routine that I do for most half marathons. I would sell my soul for the race just to be over, I swore I would never do a half marathon again, and wondered why I paid for this torture in the first place. Redemption was found at mile 10 when we turned around and headed back to the finish line.

I was still really cold which is not normal for me. I have done colder races with less on and usually warm up pretty fast. We passed the volcano at the Mirage casino, which was`”exploding,” and that gave me some warmth to finish strong.

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2 hours, 5 minutes, and a whole lot of inner monologue complaining later I was finished! I was less than thrilled with my time but I had to factor in that A. I did not train for this race B. I am still trying to bounce back after the setback from my injury C. I did not sleep at all the whole weekend D. My pre race meal plan was the casino buffet and lots of cosmos.

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Half marathon #9 was in the books.

The finish chute was nearly a “Vegas” block long. We received our medals, Mylar blanket (thank baby Jesus), took our finisher photos, and received lots food and drink treats from the vendors.

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I finally escaped the finisher chute and wrapped my frozen body in my Mylar blanket, or as my husband calls it my hobo garbage bag. I took a few post race photos and headed to Caesar’s Palace for all that bad stuff I mentioned above that I blamed for slowing me down.

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We had some celebratory drinks then indulged at Caesar’s Bacchanal Buffet.

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Our short time in Las Vegas was amazing and worth every moment and penny. I would highly recommend you add this race to your future running calender. It is a top notch production and the experience of a lifetime. Oh and as for that never running a half marathon again……….I signed up for 3 in the next 11 months. See I do that to after every race too.

 

November Races

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Jazz Half
Half Marathon
Saturday, November 1, 2014 7:00am
New Orleans, LA

5K Royalty Run for HOPE
5K run, 5K walk
Saturday, November 1, 2014
Denham Springs, LA

Crucible Adventure Race
3.5M obstacle run
Saturday, November 1, 2014
Hammond, LA

Oktoberfest 3 Mile
3M run, kids run
Saturday, November 1, 2014
Baton Rouge, LA

Jungle Gardens 5K
5K
Saturday, November 1, 2014
Jungle Gardens, Avery Island , LA

UL Lafayette Homecoming Ragin’ Road Race
5K run, 5K walk
Saturday, November 1, 2014 8:00am
Lafayette, LA

Spooky Sprint 5K Night Trail Run
5K trail run
Saturday, November 1, 2014
Kiln, MS

Q50 Dia de los Muertos
5 Miles, 10 Miles
Saturday, November 1, 2014, 7:15 PM
Fontainebleau State, Mandeville, LA

Cajun Cup Running Festival
10K run, 1M fun run, 10K walk, 1M walk
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Lafayette, LA

Crescent City Fall Classic 5K
5K run, 5K walk
Saturday, November 8, 2014
New Orleans, LA

Red White & Blue For You 5K
5K run
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Long Beach, MS

Purple Stride
5K Run/Walk
Sunday, November 9, 2014, 8:00 AM
City Park, New Orleans, LA

Mayor’s Cup 5K
5K run, 1M run
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Biloxi, MS

Meridian Marathon
26.2M run, 13.1M run, 26.2M relay
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Meridian, MS

Safe Harbor 5K
5K run, 1M run
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Mandeville, LA

The Great Character Chase
5K run
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Livingston, LA

Middendorf’s Manchac Run
10 mile, 10K, 5K
Saturday, November 15, 2014 7:00am
Manchac, LA

Q50 Midnight Full Moon
14 and 7 Mile Trail Runs
Saturday, November 15, 2014, 11:59 PM
Bogue Chitto State Park, Franklinton, LA

Woman’s Half Marathon
13.1M run, 10K run
Sunday, November 16, 2014
Baton Rouge, LA

Wicked-Fun 1990s Run
5K run
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Hattiesburg, MS

Heart and Soles Half-Marathon & 5K
Half-Marathon, 5K
Saturday, November 22, 2014, 7:00 AM
Houma, LA

Baby Steps Infertility Awareness 5K
5K run, 5K walk
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Baton Rouge, LA

Golden Fliers 5 & 10 Miler
10M run, 5M run
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Baton Rouge, LA

Turkey Day 7K & the Mashed Potato Mile
7K run, 1M fun run
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Hammond, LA

12k’s for the Holidays
12K, 5K
Saturday, November 22, 2014, 8:00 AM
Jackson, MS

Big Easy Running Festival
13.1M run, 4M run, 1M run
Sunday, November 23, 2014
New Orleans, LA

Camellia Crossing – Acadiana’s Gleaux 5K
5K run
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Lafayette, LA

Fit First Turkey Trot
5K run, 1M fun run
Thursday, November 27, 2014
Bay St. Louis, MS

Northshore Turkey Day Race
5K
Thursday, November 27, 2014
Covington, LA

NOAC Turkey Day Race
5 Miles, Half Mile
Thursday, November 27, 2014
City Park, New Orleans, LA

Capital Area March of Dimes Turkey Trot
5K run
Thursday, November 27, 2014
Baton Rouge, LA

Mississippi Coast Marathon
26.2, 13.1, 5K
Saturday, November 29, 2014 7:00am
Stennis Space Center, MS